“Remember smoothies with fruit in them?” said Dave, as he bounced the giggling baby up and down on his knee. I held both my hands out, wrists together and upwards and said “guilty as charged”. Over the past winter, I have mostly made smoothies with ingredients like peanut butter, chocolate, even pumpkin, that could be described as creamy or luxurious but not fruity or tart or even sweet. Well now spring is here, so next morning I whipped up this fruity smoothie where the dominant flavours are beetroot, frozen raspberries and mint. What seems at first like an odd trio brings out the best in each other. The beetroot maintains it earthiness and freshness but becomes sweet and almost fruity (think of how the sweetness of that other root vegetable carrot is brought out in carrot cake). Raspberry’s tartness is allowed to take center stage as the sole berry and the mint provides a sharp top note.
This pinky red beetroot smoothie is inspired by Cafe Vux in Berlin-Neukölln, which makes delicious vegan cakes, never heats my bagels no matter how often I ask them to and won’t tell me what’s in their smoothies. This is my approximation, based on how the waitresses eyes flickered when I tried to guess the ingredients.
- 1 beetroot, chopped (1 cup) (see note)
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup apple juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened soy yoghurt or 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- ¼ cup packed fresh mint, chopped plus extra for garnish.
- In the order listed above, blend all ingredients together until everything is well incorporated and the consistency is even. Pour into glasses and garnish with mint, serving with a straw.
If you use regular beetroot, but your blender is weak and inefficient like mine, you can steam the beetroot lightly first, to achieve a smoother texture.
I find it fun to serve to a baby with a straw, if they can manage a straw.